10 Updates

Seven Ways To Identify And Engage Brand Advocates

Feb 20 2014, 9:15am CST | by

By Tracy Foster, founder, ONA ./> For startups and small businesses, when it comes to allocating marketing dollars, value is the most important word. We all seek to gain maximum value and...

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22 weeks ago

Seven Ways To Identify And Engage Brand Advocates

Feb 20 2014, 9:15am CST | by

By Tracy Foster, founder, ONA .
/>

For startups and small businesses, when it comes to allocating marketing dollars, value is the most important word. We all seek to gain maximum value and exposure with limited budgets. Cultivating brand advocates who are excited to share their experience with you can be a low-cost, high-return marketing strategy.

Essentially, a brand advocate is someone who enjoys your product or service so much that they’re eager to tell others about it — whether that’s via social media or in real life, on their blog or in a publication. Brand advocates can be online influencers with millions of social media followers, or people who are active or well-respected in their industry. Here are seven ways to turn a regular customer or industry influencer into an active, engaged advocate for your brand:

  1. Befriend industry influencers. Thanks to the conversational nature of social media and the explosion of blogs in every niche and industry, marketing is now a two-way street that can benefit both sides. Reach out to people who would benefit from your product or service: introduce yourself, see about treating them to a coffee (if you live in the same city) and try to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
  2. Trade product instead of advertising. Advertising is expensive, especially when it comes to print publications or high-traffic blogs. See if the writer or blogger would be interested in reviewing your product or potentially giving one away: the cost of the product (or even two!) is often much cheaper than direct advertising and it encourages a much higher level of engagement. Popular blogs are often open to creating a hybrid of traditional sidebar advertising and reviewing a product; try to couple product reviews with advertisements on the same site for maximum exposure.
  3. Send snail mail. No matter how much of our lives are lived online, people still love to receive mail other than bills. If you have access to a key influencer’s address, buy some pretty stamps and a nice set of stationery and send them a note about how much you appreciate what they’ve done for your brand. The thrill of receiving a tweet from a brand wears off quickly, but a thoughtfully handwritten note is likely to be remembered.
  4. Send an email. If you find that there are people who are regularly interacting with your brand on social media and always have something great to say, move the relationship beyond that platform. If you aren’t able to send a handwritten note, sending a quick email to let them know how much you appreciate their support will go a long way in building the relationship.
  5. Give them a discount. Even if you can’t justify sending a free product to an influencer (perhaps their social media reach isn’t large enough or they aren’t in quite the right niche) consider offering a modest discount.
  6. Feature them on your blog. A regularly-updated blog can be a fantastic way to not only share company news but also establish a brand personality, connect with industry influencers, and highlight emerging talents in your industry. At ONA, we realized that our customers were constantly creating great original content for us through photos they shared on Instagram, Facebook or their personal blogs. We moved beyond highlighting emerging photographers in our Photographer Profile series and started featuring ONA users from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., professional photographers, bloggers, photo enthusiasts, etc.) in different ways. People now regularly contact ONA for a chance to be featured on the blog. Not only does this associate ONA with incredible talent, it also shows potential customers how existing customers are using the product.
  7. Treat them to a coffee. One of the best ways to build long-term relationships is to get to know influencers beyond their blogs, publications or Instagram feeds. We regularly reach out to photographers and bloggers about meeting up over a coffee or a drink. Those conversations (that aren’t just brand-focused) often lead to creative collaborations. Keep an eye on Twitter and relevant blogs to know when out-of-town influencers will be coming through your city — and make plans!

Brand advocates can create some of the best value for a small business or emerging brand. The word-of-mouth marketing that results from their kind words can exponentially increase your company’s profile and positive associations. Keep them engaged as you grow and you’ll likely catch more brand advocates’ and influencers’ attention along the way.

Tracy Foster is the founder of ONA  (pronounced ō’na), an emerging company that designs and sells fine camera bags and accessories for photographers. Tracy launched ONA in June 2010.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was bro ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat to ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hi ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in comp ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minist ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 2 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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